Does the fig wasp ring a bell? If not, you should take a look at this article. These insects are really impressive. They have gotten co-evolve with fig trees and take advantage of their fruits, while pollinating them. In addition, they stand out above all because they spend their larval life inside the figs.
In case you feel a bit curious about these insects, I recommend that you continue reading. We will explain what is the fig wasp and what is its biological cycle. Also, we’ll talk about what they do to figs and their correlation.
What is the fig wasp?
When we talk about fig wasps, we are referring to wasps belonging to the superfamily Chalcidoid. We can distinguish two different types of them: Fig pollinators and non-pollinators, They only feed on plants. The first are part of the family Agaonidae. Instead, non-pollinators belong to various families within the superfamily Chalcidoid.
The fig wasp is a key insect in many ecosystems. As expected, figs serve as food for many different animal species, thus being vital for various living beings in the respective ecosystems. Consequently, the pollinators of these vegetables are also pollinators.
Fig Wasp: Biological Cycle
Now that we know what a fig wasp is, let’s see what its life cycle is. This is closely related to fig trees, as they use them as hosts. As we have already mentioned before, there are pollinating and non-pollinating wasps. The former are part of a biological mutualism, that is to say: The fig wasp and the fig trees interact biologically, mutually benefiting each other and improving their biological aptitude. Instead, non-pollinators only benefit from this correlation. Despite this, the life cycles of both types of wasps are very similar.